UMD Congratulates New U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia

August 11, 2011 – Washington, D.C. – On behalf of our nation’s more than half a million Americans of Macedonian heritage, the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) congratulated Ambassador Paul D. Wohlers on being sworn-in today as the new U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia.  Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton initiated the oath of office, speaking highly of Ambassador Wohlers whom she has closely worked with during his service as Deputy Executive Secretary. 

“President Obama and Secretary Clinton could not have picked a better candidate to serve as our Ambassador to Macedonia,” said UMD President Metodija A. Koloski who attended today’s swearing-in ceremony.  “I am certain Ambassador Wohlers will take the U.S.-Macedonia relationship to a whole new level – a relationship based on common goals, interests, and values, sharing a desire to expand trade and investment between both nations.” 

The U.S. and Macedonia established full diplomatic relations on September 13, 1995.    On November 4, 2004, the U.S. officially recognized Macedonia under her constitutional and rightful name, the Republic of Macedonia, currently used by 132 countries worldwide. 

 On May 7, 2008, both countries signed a Declaration of Strategic Partnership and Cooperation, in which they pledged to “reaffirm their support for the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, the purposes and principles of the UN charter, and a unitary, multiethnic Macedonia within its existing borders.” 

On July 15, 2011, Macedonia became the 103rd U.S.-Open Skies partner, which UMD believes will bring greater tourism opportunities to Macedonia for American tourists, and make it easier for Americans of Macedonian heritage to travel to Macedonia, and for Macedonians to travel to the U.S. 

For the last seven years, UMD, the non-governmental representative body for Macedonian-Americans, has been a leading voice for advancing U.S.-Macedonia relations, having worked with previous U.S. Ambassadors to Macedonia, Lawrence Butler, Gillian Milovanovic, and Philip T. Reeker.  UMD looks forward to working with Ambassador Wohlers and his team at the U.S. Embassy in Skopje to further advance relations between the U.S. and Macedonia.

Biography of Ambassador Paul D. Wohlers

Paul Wohlers is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service who was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on August 2, 2011 and sworn-in on August 11, 2011 to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia.  Prior to his nomination, he served as Deputy Executive Secretary at the U.S. Department of State.  Ambassador Wohlers previously served as Director of the Office of Caucasus Affairs and Regional Conflicts in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Skopje, Deputy Director of the Executive Secretariat Staff, and Senior Watch Officer in the Operations Center.  Earlier in his career, Ambassador Wohlers held diplomatic postings at U.S. embassies in Bucharest, Moscow, and Nicosia.  In Washington, Ambassador Wohlers worked on arms control issues in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs and was Desk Officer for Bangladesh in the Bureau of South Asian Affairs.  He also served on the Executive Secretariat Staff. Prior to joining the State Department, Ambassador Wohlers served as a Naval Flight Officer.  He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and earned a J.D. from the University of Washington.

Photos courtesy of Lidija Sokolova.